Bell Yard was instructed to assist a woman whose reputation had been besmirched during the cross-fire of a privacy action brought by a premiership footballer against a national newspaper.
A court judgment upheld a temporary injunction preventing the woman (as co-defendant) and a newspaper group from naming the player with whom the woman had been having a relationship. This initially resulted in a wave of unwelcome publicity for the woman involved and yet total secrecy for the man. To make matters worse, the judge had used some particularly pejorative language against the woman, and criticised her motivation – yet she had no concurrent recourse in law to address the incorrect picture of her that he had painted.
Bell Yard advised her to give her reaction to the injunction ruling by means of a statement on the court steps. We drafted its wording. The existence of the injunction and her comments explaining the inherent unfairness were widely reported in the next day’s tabloids. Thanks to a proliferation of social media speculation and the naming of the footballer in the Commons by an MP claiming parliamentary privilege, the injunction was soon widely breached, although it technically remained in force.